The invite only event for journalists not only had a presentation from the head of Microsoft Australia – Pip Marlow, but also provided a chance to get hands-on with some brand new Windows 8 hardware. Those of you who have pre-ordered will be acutely aware that Surface tablets aren’t shipping until November 6th, but there’s a few already in the country (flown in last night).
Media had the opportunity to try out both the Touch cover and Type cover for Surface. After years at the keyboard, I can type quickly on a standard keyboard. My daily keyboard is the MacBook Air, but I also use the Logitech keyboard for iPad. These two keyboards form the basis of my comparisons.
The touch cover was soft to the touch and as you’d expect with that ultra-thin design, there’s no give in the keys at all. This means typing on a hard surface is essentially a very similar experience to typing on a touchscreen. Most of the time you’ll be hitting the wrong keys and wind up looking at your fingers.
The type cover on the other hand was very close in usability, probably a little better due to key placement, than the Logitech Ultrathin iPad cover. The keys were easy to distinguish and gave a reassuring confidence when pressed. I was magnitudes more accurate and fast with the touch cover.
For those that can’t touch type and need to look at your fingers, when driving the keyboard, the touch cover will be fine and save you a few mm. For those speedy typists out there, go with the type cover if you want to be at all productive on the Surface.